Eczema is an inflammation of the skin that can be seasonal or chronic. According to the Mayo Clinic, eczema commonly occurs in babies whose skin is more sensitive than that of adults, although it can develop during childhood and less commonly in adulthood. Eczema causes intense itching, and treatment often includes strategies to reduce itching and irritation.
Eczema shows up as small raised bumps on the skin and often appears on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, face and behind the knees. Eczema is more likely to flare up during the dry months of winter when skin loses moisture.
Calamine lotion, lanolin and natural oils such as olive oil may reduce the itching caused by eczema.
A lukewarm bath with uncooked oatmeal added to the water may soothe itchy and irritated skin caused by eczema, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Wrapping the affected areas of the skin in loose cotton bandages or covering them with cool moist cloths may reduce itching and swelling, although this may not be appropriate for infants or young children.
Using cotton bedding and clothing rather than irritating fabrics such as wool may reduce itching and sweating that can worsen the condition of the skin.
Using a humidifier in the home can prevent the skin from losing moisture and reduce itchiness and flaking caused by scratching.
A family pediatrician recommends a 50/50 mixture of Maalox and baking soda applied after bathing to treat children’s eczema. The treatment is thick enough to stay on and nontoxic.